March 18, 2013
Old land clams leave desire for whenua
The Waitangi Tribunal has heard the desire of Ngapuhi for restoration of their lost land.
Several hundred people have gathered at a marquee at Waitangi's Te Tii Mārae for the start of the stage two hearings of historic claims for the Northland or Te Paparahi ō Te Raki region.
Ngāti Kawa kaumatua, Kingi Taurua says the tribunal will need to address what are known as the 'old land' claims, where the Crown reviewed land gifts and purchases by missionaries and European settlers before 1840, and kept any surplus for itself.
“Before 1840, all our lands were transacted by the missionaries and the Pākeha. At that particular time, there was no English law – so I’m saying that because of the Deeds of Settlements are invalid, then the land should come back to the people. It’s not so much about the money. I’m looking at the land. The land went and now the land must come back,” he says.
Kingi Taurua says the issues of sovereignty that dominated stage one hearings is still there in the background, because Ngapuhi never gave up tino rangatiratanga over its lands, forests and fisheries.
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